From Tianya: (no longer accessible)
Siyang, in the north of Jiangsu Province, was once the capital city of the ancient Sishui kingdom. In 2006, it had the third lowest GDP in Jiangsu Province. In the last couple of years, they have been busy reforming and opening up, seeking business investment, and carrying out major construction everywhere. However, on October 31, 2008, I happened to go back for business, and on this familiar patch of land, I saw an extremely inharmonious sight: a bunch of “city management”1 surrounding a middle-aged woman carrying a infant in her arms. And yet this woman had not broken any rules, nor did she set up any stall [to sell things on the street]. It was only because she had spoken a sentence of truth.
In Siyang, there is a street called Sizhong Road, where all the small takeaway food/snack stalls are gathered. Ever since I was able to remember things, I knew of this place. I am not clear whether the stalls there have licenses, or whether they got permission from the government to use that land, but it has definitely existed for a very very long time, and people in Siyang almost all know that.
On October 31st, at 4pm in the afternoon, a group of “city management” arrived at the scene, and began indiscriminately pulling all the carts [of the stalls] onto their own trucks. On the scene, those who fled, fled. Those who chased, chased. Those who looked on, looked on. It was a scene of chaos. At this time, a woman holding her baby carelessly said, “Enforcing the law like this, and you still tell everyone you enforce the law in a civilised manner?” Who knew this one sentence of truth would actually provoke the countless “city management” officials’ fists and kicks towards her? There were two “city management” members, who utterly ignored the baby in the middle-aged woman’s arms, and aimed their fists at her who was unarmed. That middle-aged woman instinctively risked her life to protect the baby with her hands. She probably did not imagine she would be subjected to the “city management’s” multiple fists without violating any of the “city management’s” rules. And she, being a full-blooded child of North Jiangsu, facing numerous “city management”, unexpectedly and fearlessly did everything she could to defend herself, and she even fought back when there was the opportunity. However, with a baby in her arms, hopelessly outnumbered, she gradually retreated. At this moment, she shouted loudly, “Are you all lawless?” One of the city managers yelled, “I am the law! I can handle things however I want!” So much arroganc and complete disregard of the establishment of rule of law and harmonious society2. Bystanders said in unison: City management are a pack of mad dogs.
Seeing the situation escalate, I took out my mobile phone to call the police. Right then, something out of a movie happened: A middle-aged couple who had been there running a stand, seeing that the above middle-aged woman was close to getting hurt, came over to separate the two sides. Naturally, some physical contact occurred. At this time, the city management reacted swiftly and immediately took out a camera. Click, click, click, the camera shuttered. They told everyone, “That is evidence of you all violently resisting the law, and we’ll focus on dealing with you later!”
I was stunned that, in this day where we are building up rule of law and harmonious society, such a thing that should not happen, actually happens. “City management,” as those responsible for managing and safeguarding a city’s image, should in the service of the people, but they swung their iron fists against an unarmed baby-carrying by-standing woman, and they turned the law, a public domain, into their privately owned privileges, distorting the truth, brutally enforcing the law (actually putting it this way is also not correct. That woman should not have been the opponent of the city management in the first place, she was merely walking on the street, maybe she wanted to buy something to eat for her child). Some time ago, an ugly incident happened in Tianmen City, Hubei Province, where a man was beaten to death because he took pictures of city managers violently enforcing the law. That story was spread on the net like a wildfire. Someone online said in jest: Give me a squad of “city management”, and I’ll go liberate Taiwan. And now, a similar incident has happened closer to us, it is true.
Even after leaving the scene for some time, my heart still faintly aches. I don’t know if that woman was injured; that baby looks like it was approximately one-year-old, so maybe it already has the ability to remember things, but who knows what kind of memory today’s events will give his young mind. That old couple who tried to break up the fight, maybe their stall was their only source of income, and in trying to save a middle-aged woman they offended the “city management” and became an example of violent enforcement of the law. Later, whether their lives will be affected, I don’t dare to think of. This is not something I, as a small common person who has gone out to work, should think about.
Siyang, the city that is trying to attract outside business capital…I don’t know…if a business person visited and saw this kind of thing, would it reassure him of investing in Siyang? (Does this incident prove that Siuang’s law-enforcement ability is strong?) Or would he sigh and walk away?
I know I can’t change this situation, I only want to type out these words so people online with conscience and a sense for justice can read it and help spread the post. The power of the masses is unlimited. I believe one day city management will no longer be synonymous with hired thugs.
Comments on Tianya:
LZ, save your energy. It is just this one incident in Siyang. Trying to plead the law with government here in Suqian is simply no different from “an idiot talking about his dreams” [an unrealistic expectation]. In August, here in Sangxu town, Shuyang, the government colluded with 50 black society3 members to beat up the farmers protecting their agriculture fields. How was this matter handled??
How did they handle the incident where a crowd of over 10,000 people surrounded and beat up police at Xiuyu Middle School?
The two incidents above are the same character as what happened in Weng’an, only without getting so far.
If Zhang Xinshi did not urgently spend some hush-money, who knows whether the incident at Xiuyu Middle School would have escalated into another Weng’an.
Sometimes officials force people to rebel, and people have no chance but to rebel!!
Crows will be black~~~ [this means bad things will always be bad]
Siyang’s talented people have all left, no one will go back~~
I am from Shuyang, and the city managers here are the same.
Are there any white crows under the sun?
The other day something like this happened here as well.
It’s not that we don’t have conscience, but if what we see in society is always like this, how do you expect us to be harmonious?
It is fucking nonsense!
There are many places that are all suffering miserably.4
Sigh~~~ Hope that mum is not seriously harmed.
“Harmonious” society. Sigh.
None of the “city management” are any good, only bullying the weak [cowards].
Society has contracted a disease….
“City management’s” power is apparently stronger/more than the PLA. [People's Liberation Army]
This is what society is like!! Heart breaking!
Society has once again been harmonised by “city management!”
They would even beat a middle-aged woman carrying a baby, these bastard dogs really don’t deserve a good death!!
“City management” have long had a bad reputation. What moral people would normally go work there? Only hooligans and thugs would be willing to be “city management”.
Do not be so surprised! “City management” beating people up also happened in our Dong’an County. A passer-by who took pictures using his cell phone was detained for ten days!
After seeing everyone speaking out so many just words, I feel that at least our Tianya community is a sanctuary. Only thing is, we have been saying these things for so many years, yet has it ever made a difference? No one pays attention to us. We are a bunch of intellectuals in a virtual world amusing ourselves. This is the real embodiment of our nation’s sadness.
A bunch of beasts that deserve to die. This society is hopeless. Fuck.
City managers enforce the law.
And just like that, they believe they are superior than the peddlers/vendors/hawkers.
Using force, city management only need to make one phone call and all the local ruffians and thugs will come to help.
As for the law, would we have as many connections as they do?
This is what inequality is.
Reading all the people’s responses, it seems like China’s “city management” are more numerous and worse than flies, so why don’t we use insecticide against them? One spray cleans a whole area! Best results!
The entire country’s “city management” are bandits. This is our country’s disgrace.
At my home, Dongxiang County in Jiangxi Province, the government mustered over a hundred people, and dozens of cars, and came to our town to openly take the land, beating up the people who protected their fields, and openly arresting some people, and arbitrarily sentenced them without following legal procedures. We petitioned and appealed to higher authorities for years, but the final result was superficial. A perfectly good portion of land was ruined like this and can never again be used for cultivating/planting fields again.
“City management” in our Qingdao are even more terrible. They “enforce the law” during the day and gamble at night, so do you think they would be very rational during the day? Without these people running their small businesses [selling snacks, food, merchandise, etc. on the side of the street] what would our lives be like? What would happen to these ordinary people who do not have a livelihood? Are we supposed to force them to walk a path of crime?
So horrible — “lou zhu,” why did you not keep any evidence?
Sigh, when will Chinese society change back to the old simplicity/honesty, and when will government officials put the people’s benefit as the first priority.
Everyone says sending a car full of “city management” can promptly recapture Taiwan!
If “city management” suddenly become civil servants, will they become even more arrogant and outrageous? [civil servants are "higher" than "city management".]
Everyone was born and raised by their parents, but do these “city managers” not have any elders/old people in their family, no wives and children? Do they not hurt, love, or have feelings? Are they still human? Beasts, but even beasts won’t hurt people without cause.
I feel very sad for what happened in my hometown.
Having left and now living away from my hometown, the impression I have on others is not bad. When people ask me where I am from, I always loudly reply, “from Siyang,” to let more people know that my hometown is cultivated and has high character.
I do my best to support and maintain my hometown’s dignity, but many times, there are many others from Siyang who also left and work away from home like I did but give others an impression that they are uncultivated and of low character. My heart breaks when I see them behaving like tramps. Much later, I realised, all of Siyang’s true talent had already left their hometown.
This is no different from the tyranny of the landlords in the old society [China before Communist liberation]. Revolt! Revolt!
I suggest everyone go visit Secretary Zhang’s blog, make some suggestions, and do what little you can do to help.
And yes, what is the name of Siyang District’s party secretary again, is it still “shit basin”? [not sure if he is referring to a pun of the Siyang party secretary's name or if he wants to know who the secretary is to ask why Siyang is still a "shit basin"]
I wonder if Old Hu [President Hu Jintao] knows what happens down there.
I am now wondering whether or not the Nationalist Party/KMT was really reactionary.
Why don’t we still have freedom of expression. I am also from Suqian. Originally I wanted to move my business/venture back home, but now I have to seriously consider this. A place without human rights is a place without further opportunity for development. What we want are results, not violence and concealment.
Harmonious society, letting those ignorant of the law enforce the law, that is funny.
1 City management is an agency to crack down on unlicensed street merchants. Due to their brutal way of conduct, they are widely despised by the public. See Chinese City Management Administration and Implementation of Law on Wikipedia.
2 “Rule Of Law” and “Harmonious Society” are initiatives of the Chinese government.
3 Black society is a Chinese term very much similiar to “mafia” or “yakuza”.
4 水深火热 [shuǐ shēn huǒ rè], literally “water deep, fire hot”, an expression for extreme suffering.
Images: These images are not directly related to the original post.